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An ophthalmologist diagnoses, treats and prevents diseases of the eye. Ophthalmologists are both physicians and surgeons. Ophthalmologists provide a full spectrum of eye care, including the prescription of glasses and contact lenses, medical treatment and complex micro surgery, which may include cataract extraction, squint and glaucoma surgery, retinal oculoplastic and nasolacrimal surgery. Ophthalmologists can work in operating theatres, out- patient clinics and increasingly in community care settings. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research into causes and cures for eye diseases and vision problems.

In Australia and New Zealand an Ophthalmologist is required to have undertaken a minimum of twelve years of training. Ophthalmologists must complete a medical degree, a minimum of two years basic medical training upon graduation and then five years of specialist training which will also require successful completion of examinations over this period of time.